Understanding Respiratory Viral Infections

Respiratory viral infections are illnesses caused by viruses affecting the respiratory system, leading to symptoms like cough, fever, and difficulty breathing.
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Respiratory Health | Viral Infections | Infectious Diseases | Viral Respiratory Illnesses | Respiratory Infection Symptoms
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Respiratory Viral Infections FAQ

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What is a viral respiratory infection?

Viral respiratory infections result when a virus infects the cells of the respiratory mucosa; this can occur when virus particles are inhaled or directly contact a mucosal surface of the nose or eyes. Infected individuals shed virus into the environment by coughing or sneezing or even during quiet breathing.

What is a respiratory tract infection?

A respiratory tract infection affects the respiratory system, the part of your body responsible for breathing. These infections can affect your sinuses, throat, lungs or airways. There are two types of respiratory infections: Upper respiratory infections. Lower respiratory infections.

How severe is viral respiratory illness?

Severity of viral respiratory illness varies widely; severe disease is more likely in older patients and infants. Morbidity may result directly from viral infection or may be indirect, due to exacerbation of underlying cardiopulmonary conditions or bacterial superinfection of the lung, paranasal sinuses, or middle ear.

What are the symptoms of a respiratory virus?

Symptoms may be different depending on which virus is causing the illness and people with the same virus may have different symptoms and severity. However, there are symptoms that are common to many respiratory viruses. These include fever, cough, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and feeling generally unwell.

Respiratory Viral Infections References

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